Callum Keith Rennie (born September 14, 1960) is a British-born Canadian television and film actor, known for his portrayal of the Cylon Leoben Conoy on Battlestar Galactica and his role as record producer Lew Ashby on the Showtime series Californication.
Callum Keith Rennie was born in Sunderland, County Durham, to Scottish parents. When he was four years old, the family emigrated to Canada. Rennie was brought up in middle-class Edmonton, Alberta, as the second of three boys. He graduated from Strathcona High School, where he met and befriended Bruce McCulloch from The Kids in the Hall. He dropped out from college and took up all sorts of odd jobs instead, leaving Edmonton for brief stays in Vancouver and Toronto before eventually settling in Vancouver. After a serious bout with alcoholism in his youth, Rennie managed to get his addiction under control at the age of 33 and was finally able to commit to acting.
He likes painting and admires abstract expressionist artists such as Basquiat, Motherwell and Pollock. An enthusiastic mountain climber in his youth, Rennie still practices various sports. He loves a game of hockey but is, above all, an avid golfer. He resides alternately in Vancouver and Los Angeles.
Working at the campus radio of University of Alberta led Rennie to discover acting at the age of 25. He started his career on stage, performing at the A.B.O.P. Theatre in Edmonton in Amerika, a play adapted from Franz Kafka's novel, and followed with the critically acclaimed American Buffalo during the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. After attending Bruhanski Theatre Studio in Vancouver, he had his first professional theatrical performance in 1989 in Sally Clark's Lost Souls and Missing Persons, a Touchstone Theatre production. This earned him an invitation to work at the Shaw Festival, where he appeared in Man and Superman and in Arthur Wing Pinero's comic play Trelawny of the Wells in 1990.
Rennie's first appearance on screen was in the indie Canadian film Purple Toast, filmed in 1990 and released in 1993. Also in 1993, he began to take small roles in television series, including Highlander, Forever Knight and the revamped version of The Outer Limits. Rennie's profile within the Canadian industry was heightened during this period by leading roles in the television films Paris or Somewhere in 1994 and For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down in 1996. Due to several disagreements during the production of the latter film, Rennie vowed never to work for the CBC again, though he has remained a staunch supporter of the Canadian industry as a whole. After his first appearance on The X-Files, he was offered the role of Alex Krycek but turned it down because he did not want to commit to a television series at that time. His career gained momentum quickly and larger roles in Canadian films followed, such as the independent short film Frank's Cock by Mike Hoolboom and Mina Shum's drama film Double Happiness as Sandra Oh's love interest, for which he was nominated for a Genie Award as best supporting actor. He also had more important roles on television series, as in a two-parter for La Femme Nikita.
His most prominent early roles were as guitar player Billy Tallent in Bruce McDonald's Hard Core Logo in 1996 and as detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski in the third and fourth seasons of the CTV series Due South, which aired in over 150 countries. The Canadian band Billy Talent is named after his Hard Core Logo character. As for his part in Due South, it has been said that his "disaffected intensity and hungover good looks" added an edge to the series.
Rennie was then seen in the recurrent roles of the convenience store guru Newbie on Don McKellar's cult television series Twitch City and of Detective Bobby Marlowe on the award-winning series Da Vinci's Inquest. His interpretation of sex marathoner Craig Zwiller in Don McKellar's Last Night earned him his first Genie Award in 1999. After a role in David Cronenberg's eXistenZ, his first international success on the big screen was his appearance as the thug Dodd in Christopher Nolan's Memento in 2000. The same year, he impersonated a chilling, yet seductive, drifter in Suspicious River.
With the father characters of Falling Angels in 2003 and Flower and Garnet in 2002, Rennie expanded to playing more mature roles, rather than young, self-destructive rebels. He also impersonated self-controlled Inspector Wood in the period drama Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story in 2002 and appeared as the quiet dyslexic painter of Wilby Wonderful in 2004.
He has played guest roles in episodes of various Canadian or US television series like Mutant X, The Dead Zone, Smallville, Supernatural, The L Word, Bionic Woman and Harper's Island. During the same time, he has interpreted contrasting characters in movies such as The Butterfly Effect, H20: the Last Prime Minister, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Blade: Trinity, Lucid, Unnatural & Accidental, The Invisible, Tin Man, Normal, Silk and The X-Files: I Want to Believe. His recurring role as the Cylon Leoben Conoy in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica from 2004 to 2009 and his portrayal of the record producer Lew Ashby throughout the second season of Californication in 2008 have earned him a new wide and international recognition.
From 2009 to 2010, Rennie played a character named Jeff Slingerland aka Dr. Maurice Raynaud on the ABC science fiction series FlashForward. Before the series was cancelled, David Goyer, who previously directed him in Blade and The Invisible, mentioned he would be back and was slated to appear in the second season. He also appeared as Russian mobster Vladimir Laitanan in the eighth season of 24.
In Fall 2010, he played the lead role of Detective Brian Sullivan on Shattered, a series about a detective who suffers from multiple personality disorder. It aired in Canada on Global TV, followed by airings in other countries, though not the United States. Rennie received critical acclaim for his performance, and in 2011 won the Gemini and Leo awards for the role. However, Shattered was not renewed for a second season.
His 2010 appearances on the big screen included the Canadian film Gunless, a Western comedy starring Paul Gross, as a bounty hunter on the trail of Gross' Montana Kid. He also reprised his role as Billy Tallent for a short appearance in Trigger, which was part of several films set in the same universe as Hard Core Logo, directed again by Bruce McDonald. Rennie also served as one of Trigger's executive producers. Another film, Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage, based on Canadian playwright Josh MacDonald's play Halo, was released in December 2010.
Rennie made a number of television appearances in 2011, including a supporting role on The Killing as Rick Felder, Detective Sarah Linden's fiancé. He also guest starred on Alphas, CSI: Miami and Rookie Blue. Rennie was also cast as a series regular on the NBC series The Firm, where he played Ray McDeere, the brother of the principal character, Mitch McDeere, played by Josh Lucas. It began airing as a midseason replacement for the 2011–12 season. In 2015, Rennie was cast as a main character for the second season of Amazon's The Man in the High Castle.
|1993||Purple Toast||Tom Struck|
|The Raffle||Floor Director|
|Paris or Somewhere||Christy Mahon|
|1995||Falling from the Sky: Flight 174||Pumper|
|When the Dark Man Calls||Bob Levesh|
|The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky||Big Hat|
|Hard Core Logo||Billy Tallent / William Boisy|
|Letters from Home|
|For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down||Jerry Bines|
|Excess Baggage||Motel Manager|
|Men with Guns||Mamet|
|1998||Last Night||Craig Zwiller|
|The Life Before This||Martin Maclean|
|The Last Stop||Jake|
|Suspicious River||Gary Jensen|
|Murder Seen||Detective Keegan|
|Nature Boy||Eden Abez|
|2002||Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story||Inspector Wood|
|Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice||Palmberg|
|Now & Forever||Carl Mackie|
|Flower & Garnet||Ed|
|2003||Falling Angels||Jim Field|
|Paycheck||Jude - Guard|
|2004||The Butterfly Effect||Jason|
|Wilby Wonderful||Duck MacDonald|
|The Five People You Meet in Heaven||Eddie's Father|
|Blade: Trinity||Asher Talos|
|2005||Whiskey Echo||Dr. Rollie Saunders|
|Whole New Thing||Denny|
|Shooting Gallery||Michael Mortensen|
|2006||The Hunters||Quin Hunter|
|Snow Cake||John Neil|
|Unnatural & Accidental||Norman|
|2007||Code Name: The Cleaner||Shaw|
|The Invisible||Detective Brian Larson|
|Butterfly on a Wheel||Det. McGill|
|The X Files: I Want to Believe||2nd Abductor - Janke Dacyshyn|
|Of Murder and Memory||Leonard Bast|
|2009||Case 39||Edward Sullivan|
|The Plan||Leoben Conoy|
|2011||Faith, Fraud, & Minimum Wage||Donald McMullen|
|2013||The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet||Father|
|2014||October Gale||James Matthews|
|Sitting on the Edge of Marlene||Fast Freddy|
|2015||Fifty Shades of Grey||Ray|
|Into the Forest||Robert|
|Born to Be Blue||Dick Bock|
|Wait Till Helen Comes||Dave|
|2017||Little Pink House|
|Goon: Last of the Enforcers||Hyrum Cain|
|Hell in a Handbag||Silver|
|1993-1995||Highlander||Tyler King / Neal|
|1994-1995||The X Files||Cemetery Groundskeeper / Tommy|
|1994||Lonesome Dove: The Series||Harry Price|
|1995-1996||My Life as a Dog||Johnny Johansson|
|The Outer Limits||Carlito|
|Forever Knight||Bruce Spencer|
|1997-1999||Due South||Det. Stanley Raymond Kowalski|
|1997||Viper||William T. Lennox|
|La Femme Nikita||Gray Wellman|
|1999-2001||Da Vinci's Inquest||Det. Bob Marlowe|
|Dark Angel||Sheriff Lamar|
|Mutant X||Zack Lockhart|
|The Dead Zone||Max Cassidy|
|The Eleventh Hour||Mark Mitchum|
|2003||Tru Calling||Elliott Winters|
|Battlestar Galactica||Leoben Conoy|
|2004-2009||Battlestar Galactica||Leoben Conoy|
|2004||H2O||Don Pritchard / Lt. Daniel Holt|
|Touching Evil||Mike Espy|
|Kingdom Hospital||Earl Candleton|
|2006||The L Word||Danny Wilson|
|2007||Men in Trees||Jeff|
|Bionic Woman||Victor Booth|
|2009-2010||Flashforward||Jeff Slingerland / Dr. Maurice Raynaud|
|2009||Harper's Island||John Wakefield|
|Harper's Globe||John Wakefield|
|2010-2011||Shattered||Det. Ben Sullivan / Kyle Loggins|
|2011-2012||The Killing||Rick Felder|
|Rookie Blue||Jamie Brennan / Jaimie Brennan|
|CSI: Miami||Jack Toller|
|2012||The Firm||Ray McDeere|
|Transporter: The Series||Schramm|
|2016||Man Seeking Woman||McQuaid|
|Legends of Tomorrow||John Valor|
|The Man in the High Castle||Gary Connell|
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